Haere mai! Welcome to Mairtown Kindergarten's blog.

Nau Mai Haere mai. Welcome to Mairtown Kindergarten's blog.

21 Princes Street, Kensington, Whangarei, New Zealand

Phone: 09 437 2742

Email: mairtown@nka.org.nz

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Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Nau mai haere mai

Nau mai haere mai a matou whanauwhanui,
Nga mihi motu tau hau.
Haere mai, haere mai, haere mai.
We all welcome you here today, our new whanau and those returning,
We acknowledge you and greet you.
Welcome, welcome, welcome.
On Tuesday 14th February, we invited all our new whanau and existing whanau to come and join us for a shared kai to welcome Archie, Isla, Aris, McKenzie, Aya, Alfie, Adam, Wai Manu, Lachlan, Max, Juno, Sandinsa, Imogen, Charlize, Nathan, Piper and Ryley and their whanau to Mairtown Kindergarten. It was great to see the abundance of whanau who came along and a huge thank you for bringing in all the delicious kai, it was amazing.

11.45am rolled around quickly and we gathered all the excited tamariki for a whanau time before lunch and Kate got up and said a welcome in Maori, Zair followed with another warm welcome. For a few weeks leading up to the shared kai, tamariki had been learning a new waiata ‘Tena koutou’ with Christine at whanau times. We have had such fun with this waiata, it’s an echo song so Christine would lead us off and we would echo it back. Such a lovely waiata which was very fitting for this special occasion. The tamariki were professionals when it came to performing, standing up all tall and proud, singing their hearts out, they did a fantastic job.

He aha te mea nui I te Ao?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.

What is the most important thing on earth?
It is people, it is people, it is people.
"I liked singing the echo song" Milla.
"My Mum made brownies for lunch" Archie.
"Got to share all the yummy food with everybody" Dre Varn.
"Nice to welcome everyone to kindergarten" Zoey.

We all got to share a delicious kai together, it was nice to get to know some of the new, extended whanau and to see so many new faces here at Mairtown Kindergarten. It was great to see some of the whanau, that don’t come in much due to work etc, arrive and get a chance to look around the fun and exciting environment we have here.
Ehara taku toa I te toa takitahi,
Engari he toa takitini.
Success is not that of one,
but the work of many.
Relationships and partnerships, based on trust, respect and open communication are central to our philosophy. Kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face conversation) is something that we value immensely. When these genuine, authentic and reciprocal relationships are established, Mairtown Kindergarten becomes a safe and secure place for children, whānau and teachers, and this secure environment supports children to explore, play freely and fosters their ability to be learners and leaders. We believe that everyone in our learning community is beautifully unique and has a wealth of knowledge, which we love to honour…(Mairtown Kindergarten Philosophy).

 Nau mai haere mai, welcome to Mairtown kindergarten.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Random acts of kindness

The beginning of term one at the start of a new year is always an exciting and sometimes a nerve wracking time for our children as there is plenty of catching up to do of old friends reconnecting and also we have many new friends start at kindergarten.

At Mairtown we place a lot of emphasis on creating an environment where new rangatira (leaders) are promoted to show kindness and manaaki (care), towards each other.  Even though at the end of last year we had fifteen children transition to school this created a wonderful opportunity for other children to step up and show their kindness towards their friends especially our new children.

“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness”. William Arthur Ward

Kindergarten can sometimes be a busy place and when it is a completely new environment for a new child and their whānau it may seem a little overwhelming, this is where a little kindness goes a long way.  The thing about showing kindness is that it doesn’t have to be big, it may start by giving someone a smile or maybe sharing kind words, or a small gesture which can change our mood and brighten our day bringing us closer to the giver.  This is wonderful when building new connections as kindness is good for relationships and it seems that kind people are more empathic.  Each act of kindness might seem small, but it’s actually changing the way we see ourselves, the way we see others and the way others see us.

“If we all do one random act of kindness daily we just might set the world in the right direction.”  (Martin Kornfeld)

Since the start of this term I have been privileged to see many random acts of kindness and hear many comments amongst our children that just makes my heart sing, like; “Go like this then you can do it, yeah I’m so proud of you” “I can help fill that for you” “Here you can have two and I will have one” “Come on and play with me” “Here you can have my swing if you like” “She’s my new friend we have been playing inside” “Here I’ll put that away for you”.
“Kindness means you are concerned about other people.  Kind people think about another person’s feelings … they help someone who is in need, and they are kind even when others are not.  Kind people never expect anything in return.  They just treat other people kindly because they want to help make someone’s life better.  Kindness makes the world a nicer place, because it makes people happier”.  (Dr. Michele Borba)

I know some people think kindness doesn’t matter compared to other important areas of learning for instance literacy and numeracy.  I realise that kindness isn’t a curriculum area but actually I feel it should be as it is valuable skill, important for lifelong learning as well as wonderful way for children to start building relationships while making new friends.  I think this quote sums it up nicely, “Don’t become preoccupied with your child’s academic ability but instead teach them to sit with those sitting alone.  Teach them to be kind.  Teach them to offer their help.  Teach them to be a friend to the lonely.  Teach them to encourage others.  Teach them to think about other people.  Teach them to share.  Teach them to look for the good.  This is how they’ll change the world.”  (Collective Evolution)

When I noticed our children doing all these wonderful random acts of kindness we ended up talking about what kindness is or how we can show kindness to our friends, here is some of the discussion:
Capri: “Be friendly”
Elsie: “Play with them.  The other day I was helping my friend to swing himself.  It’s nice to have a friend”
Aya:  “When we have cuddles”
Raina: “To help people”
Noah: “When we take turns and play together”
Inura: “Pushing them on the swings.  I have lots of friends.  I gave my dinosaur toy to baby Evie.  It made me happy”
Arlo: “Spinning them”
Inura:  “Austin did a great job helping Zoey when she got hurt.  He made her feel really special.
Tilly: “Maybe by telling them we love them, maybe we can play games that they want to play”
Isla: “Play with them”
Ella: “Be nice to them”
Tilly: “I’ve been pushing Fern, Ella and Isla on the swings”
Ella: “I asked Fern if she would like to have my dress”

There are many benefits for children’s learning and development especially their social literacy when they receive and share a little kindness and the best thing is that to give a smile or say some kind words is free and can make everyone feel so much happier. 

“Everywhere you go, leave a glitter trail of kindness behind you”. Author Unknown

Mā te wā